Italy Train System?

Mar 14th, 2013, 08:33 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 11
Italy Train System?

Hello all,

I am planning my trip to Italy in May and will be stopping in the major cities (Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples) as well as visiting Siena (for a little wine tour) and lastly, the Amalfi coast (we reserved a hotel in Positano).

Originally we planned to rent a car and drive the whole way down, however, after much research we decided that would not be the best option, especially since most of our time would be spent in the major cities. Since we will be traveling by train, I am curious as to the best approach for purchasing tickets/reservations.

-Should we buy in advance?
-What is the best train system for our trip?
-Should we buy a pass or purchase each ticket individually (based on our trip outlined above)?

Your help is greatly appreciated!
knel is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 08:55 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,281
>>>Should we buy in advance? <<<

If you know your schedule, you can save quite a bit by booking on Trenitalia in advance for the faster trains (AV,ES,ESCity,IC). These serve major cities. Some routes can be as cheap as 9€ for super economy tickets. You can't refund these tickets so if you are sure of when you want to travel they are a great deal. 2nd class on the fast AV trains looks like this.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ssainterno.jpg

>>>What is the best train system for our trip?<<<

Italy's train systems is Trenitalia. In the last year or so, a new train company started called Italo. They only serve major cities and have less service. In some cities, they don't use the main train station.

Between Florence and Siena you would use the bus as it's faster than the train (cost is within 1€, but both are about 8€ one way). The bus also drops you at the historic center. The train station is further out and would require transport from the station to the center.

>>>Should we buy a pass or purchase each ticket individually (based on our trip outlined above)?<<<

Very doubtful a pass would pay off for this route. A pass doesn't include the mandatory seats required for all the faster trains which would cost 10€ each (included in Trenitalia's ticket prices). Regular walk-up price for a tickets between Venice/Florence, Florence/Rome, Rome/Naples is about 40-45€ each.

From Naples, you have to take a local commuter train (about 4€) to Sorrento which isn't included in passes. From Sorrento, the Sita bus on to Positano.
kybourbon is online now  
Mar 14th, 2013, 10:10 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 11
Perfect, thank you so much for the info!
knel is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 12:56 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 11
One last question,

I am on the Trenitalia Site right now, but am unsure of which terminals to choose. Is there a particular website or guide that can be recommened as to which terminals are the best to use in each of the above mentioned cities I am going to? Or does it not really matter?
knel is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 01:32 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,889
(Venice, Florence, Rome, and Naples) as well as visiting Siena (for a little wine tour) and lastly, the Amalfi coast (we reserved a hotel in Positano)>

main train stations - Venice Santa Lucia (S L in schdules); Florence S M N (Santa Maria Novella) - Rome Termini and Naples Centrale (though some trains from Rome go to Naples Girabladi, adjacent to Naples Centrale - take the CircumVesuviana trains from Centrale/Garibaldi to Sorrento.

Siena from Florence is best by bus - cheaper and quicker than the round about rail route via Empoli.

For lots of great info on Italian trains I always spotlight these IMO fine fine sites - www.seat61.com - excellent info on online discounted tickets; wwwbudgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

As for a railpass if you want to go first class and there are IME significant benefits to first class - bigger seats, more empty seats, gratis snacks and beverages and easier to store luggage, etc. the Italy Railpass, even with mandated surcharges may be cheaper than individual tickets especially if you want flexibility to chose which trains to take once there and not have to book some hard-to-change train weeks in advance - even for in 2nd class I would wager a Italy Railpass would be cheaper than individual full fare tickets though that may depend on whether you fly back out of Naples or return to Rome.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 01:52 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,281
I would register first and notify your credit card company you will be making a foreign online purchase.

You need to use the Italian spelling of cities. If you are staying in Venice proper, your departure station would Venezia S.Lucia. If you are departing right after you arrive at Venice airport, you would probably want to use Venezia Mestre (although you would need to allow time for plane delays, etc.). For Florence, the main station is Firenze S. M. Novella, Rome would be Roma Termini, Naples - Napoli Centrale. They should autofill as you start typing.

Before attempting to book, read this link abour registering on Trenitalia. Scroll down (don't click the many links) until you get to the part about registering on Trenitalia. While some of the info about booking may be a tad out of date, much of it is still pretty accurate.

http://www.roninrome.com/transportat...ebsite-updated

It you want to select your seats, be sure to check the select seat box as it's automatically defaulted for them to select them. Seats in the diagram with the gray oblong (which is a table) face each other and share the table (shown in the picture I linked earlier today). I find those seats more comfortable than the seats at the ends that have flip down trays like airlines.

You can't buy commuter train (downstairs in the Naples train station from the Trenitalia trains) tickets in advance for Naples/Sorrento. The website is:
http://www.vesuviana.it/web/en

>>>From Naples, you have to take a local commuter train (about 4€) to Sorrento which isn't included in passes.<<<

That should say it isn't included in Italian rail passes. It is included in a local tourist pass (Campania Artecard) you purchase in Napoli Centrale. The 3 day (consecutive) Campania Artecard Tutta La Regione (27€) includes transport in Naples, the local train (stops at Pompeii, Sorrento, Herculaneum, etc.) down the coast (buses from Sorrento to Positano/Amalfi/Salerno) all the way to Paestum. Also includes two free entrances to sites (Pompeii, Herculaneum, etc.) and discounts after your free entrances. The 7 day artecard does not include transport.
http://www.campaniartecard.it/itinerary.cfm?id=13
kybourbon is online now  
Mar 14th, 2013, 06:12 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,889
Very doubtful a pass would pay off for this route. A pass doesn't include the mandatory seats required for all the faster trains which would cost 10€ each (included in Trenitalia's ticket prices). Regular walk-up price for a tickets between Venice/Florence, Florence/Rome, Rome/Naples is about 40-45€ each.>

how about a cost comparison with first class walk up fares - you assume folks only want to go 2nd class when you diss any idea of a pass - in first class a Pass would save money right over walk up fares, even with 10 euro surcharges?

You should specify what you mean when you say a pass would not be useful - in first class it could be more useful than 2nd class yet you assume everyone wants to go 2nd class.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 14th, 2013, 06:20 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,618
Yes, of course she assumes everybody would want 2nd class, because that's the norm, despite what you constantly spout about 1st class being SO much better - and this from someone who trots around Europe on a bike with a tent??? Second class is JUST FINE for the vast majority of us - get used to it!!
StCirq is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:36 PM.